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Cloud Hosting – Data Center Colocation Services Explained

Cloud Hosting – Data Center Colocation Services Explained

Cloud hosting and data center colocation have both been instrumental in empowering businesses to improve their performance while lowering their operating costs. With cloud hosting and data center colocation properly explained, businesses will be better equipped to deliver their full potential. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to what you need to know.

Cloud hosting explained

Cloud hosting, also known as the public cloud, is a service model in which computing services are delivered over the internet. A reputable public cloud service provider (CSP) will typically have a distributed network of servers, often spanning multiple data centers, forming a resilient and redundant infrastructure.

This infrastructure will leverage virtualization technologies, such as hypervisors and containerization to create isolated environments optimized for specific applications. The end result is an environment that is scalable, efficient, and flexible. Moreover, cloud services are used and managed entirely remotely. This makes them highly convenient.

The benefits of cloud hosting explained

Using cloud hosting has minimal to no upfront costs. Operating costs generally depend on whether users are on a committed contract or a pay-as-you-go model. In either case, however, costs are generally closely linked to usage. This means that users generally have to be very strict about provisioning and de-provisioning. Implementing automated processes can be very useful here.

The drawbacks of cloud hosting explained

For all its many benefits, however, cloud hosting does have three, potentially significant, drawbacks. Firstly, data resides on third-party infrastructure. Secondly, there are limited options for customizing the service.

Thirdly, CSPs tend to charge based on the volume of traffic their clients store and/or process. This means that as data volumes increase, the less cost-effective it becomes to use cloud hosting.

It’s also worth noting that CSPs with large geographical reach tend to provide their services in zones. Data that travels into or out of the client’s home zone tends to be charged at a higher rate than “domestic” traffic. This can significantly increase costs for businesses that operate across zones.

Data center colocation explained

Data center colocation is the provision of data center infrastructure in which businesses can host their own IT equipment. The data center colocation vendor manages the building itself, including its network connectivity, power, and cooling. They also handle general physical and digital security. Many providers also handle compliance with a range of data security standards.

Clients rent or lease a defined area within the data center facility in which they house equipment of their choosing. Most providers offer a choice of racks or cages. Many providers also offer suites. These options can be used individually or mixed and matched. This means that there are options to suit all businesses on all budgets.

In contrast to cloud hosting, with data center colocation, businesses are responsible for managing their own equipment. This does not, however, necessarily mean that businesses have to employ their own staff for this task. Many providers will offer both managed services and ad-hoc support as optional services. Businesses also have the option to hire other contractors.

The benefits of data center colocation explained

Data center colocation is scalable, flexible, and convenient while also being very secure. In contrast to the public cloud, data always stays on the client’s own equipment. Moreover, this equipment can be customized to the client’s exact requirements. This means that it can be optimized for the applications and/or services it hosts.

For businesses that store and/or process large quantities of data, using data center colocation tends to work out to be much more cost-effective than using cloud hosting. Again, this is particularly true if businesses operate across different geographic zones.

The drawbacks of data center colocation explained

Data center colocation does not offer the same level of dynamic scalability as cloud hosting. Also, it does tend to require a certain level of traffic to justify the effort of deploying and managing the equipment. By contrast, cloud hosting is suitable for even the lowest volumes of traffic.

The synergy between data center colocation and cloud hosting

For many businesses, cloud hosting and data center colocation are perfect partners. Data center colocation is typically used for core needs and/or specialized applications. These can be applications that need to access highly sensitive data and/or benefit from a high level of customization.

Cloud hosting is used to give additional breadth and depth to the capabilities of data center colocation. In terms of breadth, cloud hosting can be used to locate applications, services, and/or data in areas where there are too few users to justify data center colocation. In terms of depth, it can be used to enhance the scalability of data center colocation.

Using a combination of data center colocation and cloud hosting therefore often delivers maximum performance and convenience at minimal cost.

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